I Looked at Life and then it Stoped. Thoughts on The Swing by Cyril Aris

The essence

 

It pains

As if looking at yourself in the mirror

You see Yourself now, later, before, continuously

A self broken.

A face engraved with the memories of a brief existence.

 

The history of a lie

 

Vivi is married to Antoine,

For 60 years now they sit together on their balcony

gazing at the setting sun.

But now Vivi has pushed her chair away from Antoine.

She keeps her hands closed in fists,

resting on her knees.

She turns away avoiding his weary smile,

Her eyes cast a long shadow of lies.

Their daughter is dead.

And Antoine must never know.

It is on her than the heaviest of pains has to settle.

And its weight has taken all of her tenderness away.

Cyril Aris, her grandson, often pays her visits,

Bringing along his portable camera, a late nineties Sony.

He sits opposite her and records her face,

Often overtaken by threatening waves of sorrow  

 

The family dinners,

The tears,

The old VHS, broadcasting images of a bygone era,

The portraits of familiar faces that have ceased to exist

The bitter smiles,

The unravelling of a family lie and its consequences.  

 

Filmed in a narrow, claustrophobic aspect ratio,

A tribute to Dogme 95,

Yet framed with such care and precision.

It is a voyage through human pain

And the unavoidable, but often unexpected,

 

END.

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